Around 1981, there were few pop stars bigger. After the release of his record, "Working Class Dog," and the monster-hit single, "Jessie's Girl," Springfield became a certified teen idol and more. He sold millions of records, won a Grammy and played all over the world, somehow juggling the life of a rock star with his day-job as Dr. Noah Drake on the daytime soap "General Hospital."
But pop music is a fickle business. Popular tastes changed. Pop became less rock and audiences moved on to the next new thing. Springfield continued to work through the '80s, then took a break from music for more than a decade before recording new material in 1999.
He's been at it ever since and is working on his 17th album, plus an unusual side project of Foo Fighter's frontman Dave Grohl.
"Dave is doing a documentary on a studio where a lot of great music was recorded," he said.
The Sound City Studios in Van Nuys was where Fleetwood Mac recorded their Grammy Award-winning record "Rumours," Tom Petty recorded "Damn The Torpedoes" and Nirvana, Grohl's other band, made "Nevermind."
Sound City Studios is also where Springfield recorded "Working Class Dog."
"Dave says his life is judged by Nevermind," Springfield said. "It's judged by what he did before and what he did after."
Springfield said Grohl was just going to do a documentary about the studio, then decided to get some of the artists who'd recorded at Sound City to record songs together.
"It became this huge thing," he laughed.
Springfield acknowledged that a lot has changed since he was the idol of millions, but it's not necessarily a bad thing.
"During shows, I always go out in the audience at some point," he said. "It's something I couldn't have done in the early '80s. That would have probably meant my death. Now everyone is aware that if I go down, the show is over."
It's easier to connect with people, which is what keeps it fun for him--plus now, his audience is broader. Those teenage girls who taped his picture up in their lockers grew up, got married and had children. Some of them bring their families to the show.
Springfield said he was glad to see a few more fellows in the crowd these days.
"Back then it was kind of tough for guys to come to the show because it was considered kind of a girl show," Springfield said. "Now, it's OK. A lot of guys grew up listening to my music through their older sister's bedroom wall."
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.